The 2022 winter session of the parliament began on 07 December and is expected to go on till 29 December 2022, with 17 sitting over 23 days. A total of 16 bills are likely to be taken up during the session. Here is the review of the first week.
The Winter Session of the Parliament began on 07 December 2022. This session would be the 10th for the current 17th Lok Sabha and 258th for Rajya Sabha. It is scheduled to be held up to 29 December 2022, with 17 sittings spread over 23 days. A total of 16 new bills are likely to be taken up in this session. This is the first full session for the newly elected Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankar, officiating as Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
On the first day of the Winter Session of the Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted that the Parliament is meeting not only after the completion of 75 years of our Independence but also at a time when India got the opportunity to preside over the G-20. He stated that it is an opportunity to display India’s capability, its diversity and potential to the world. In his address, he urged for smoother proceedings in the houses, as the concern of frequent adjournments is highlighted by many of the MPs. The Prime Minister also addressed Rajya Sabha, at the beginning of the winter session and welcomed the new Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
On the first day, Lok Sabha took up the discussion on the Anti Maritime Piracy Bill, which was in line with the United Nations Convention on the Law of Seas. Meanwhile, Wild Life (Protection) Bill was tabled in Rajya Sabha, to include a dedicated framework to regulate or ban international trade of endangered species. On the second day of the session, a few of the key issues raised by the MPs include – religious conversions, compensation for migrant workers, aid for farmers who lost crops due to excessive rains.
On the third day, Rajya Sabha passed the Wild Life (Protection) Bill and took up the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022. Meanwhile, Lok Sabha witnessed a walkout by members of the Opposition, to protest the speaker as they claimed they were not allowed to raise issues in the house. The Uniform Civil Code Bill was also introduced in Rajya Sabha as a private bill, after an intense debate. There was a pushback on the bill by members of the opposition.
The question of depreciating Indian Rupee was raised in Lok Sabha during the Question Hour on the 4th day i.e., 12 December 2022. On the day same day, Rajya Sabha passed Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022, amidst demand from opposition members for the bill to be sent to a Parliamentary Committee.
On 13 December 2022, the clash between Indian and Chinese troops in Tawang Sector rocked the proceedings in the parliament with Opposition MPs demanding a statement from the Prime Minister on the situation at the border and staged a walkout. Tributes were paid to victims of the 2001 Parliament attack. The standing committee on Finance recommended changes to Competition Law (Amendment) Bill.
Bills Taken Up
A total of 16 New Bills would be introduced during the current Winter Session of the parliament. Since the beginning of the current session, 7 Bills were introduced in the parliament. Out of them, The Appropriation (No.4) Bill, 2022 & Appropriation (No.5), 2022, were passed in the Lok Sabha. These bills were introduced and passed to seek additional funds from the Consolidated Fund of India.
On the first day, Multi-State Cooperative Societies Bill, 2022 was introduced. On 09 December 2022, four bills were introduced in Lok Sabha. These bills are related to the 2nd,3rd, 4th & 5thAmendments to the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order Bill, 2022.
Apart from the newly introduced bills, there were other bills which were taken up discussion. The Wild Life Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was passed in Lok Sabha during the earlier session on 02 August 2022. This bill is passed in Rajya Sabha during the current session, on 08 December 2022. The bill seeks to increase the number of species protected under law and to implement ‘The Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora’ (CITES).
The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (Amendment) Bill, 2022 , was earlier passed by Lok Sabha during the 9th session. The bill is now passed in the current session of the Rajya Sabha on 14 December 2022.
Rajya Sabha has also passed The Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Orders (Second Amendment) Bill, 2022 on 14 December 2022. This bill was earlier passed in Lok Sabha on 01 April 2022. The Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 was passed in Rajya Sabha on 12 December 2022. This was passed in Lok Sabha in the previous session.
Important Standing Committees reports tabled
Various standing committee reports were tabled in the Parliament in the ongoing winter session of the parliament.
The Thirty Sixth Standing Committee Report on ‘Implementation of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana’ was tabled in Lok Sabha on 08 December 2022. Ministry of External Affairs presented its 16th report on ‘India’s Soft power and cultural diplomacy: Prospects & Limitations.’.
A report on action taken by the government on the observations/ recommendations contained in the Thirty-Fourth report of the Standing Committee on Social Justice was presented in Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha on 12 December 2022. There were 11 observations/recommendations of the Standing committee, out of which 3 were accepted by the government.
Various ‘Action Taken Reports’ were also presented by the government relating to ‘COVID-19 Pandemic: Global Response, India’s contribution, and the way forward’, ‘Preparedness for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’, ‘Implementation of PMEGP’, ‘Implementation of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006’, etc.
On the first day of the Winter Session of Lok Sabha, a question was asked on the various public grievances received by the government. The government responded that the issues on which the public grievances are received by Government on the ‘Central Public Grievances Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS)’ include – implementation of government schemes/programmes, quality of services, civic amenities, harassment & atrocities, corruption, etc. Around 11.15 lakh grievances were received so far in the 2022 calendar year.
Another question on the same day was regarding the pending cases in Consumer courts. There was also a question in the Lok Sabha on the status of the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). The Government responded with the required data on a question relating to PM Fasal Bima Yojana.
Details of the expenditure incurred on advertisements by various ministries and departments were also provided by the government in response to a question. In Rajya Sabha, an enquiry was made on schemes for the development of Panchayats. Another question relating to Panchayats was on Mission Mode Programme on e-panchayats. Responding to a question in the Rajya Sabha, the Ministry of Home Affairs provided information related to cases of Human trafficking.